C200 vs 1DX
Canon C200 vs 1DX mark ii for Wedding Videography
Which camera is a better run and gun camera for wedding videography?
Edit: February, 2020
This original blog was written in April of 2018, leaving some information a bit dated due to new cameras/tech that is currently available. A few revisions have been made but the majority of the blog was left as is. Since writing this article we have filmed two full weddings seasons with the C200 as well as one season with the Canon EOS R. An updated blog will be coming soon.
The Canon 1DX has been our main camera for the past year. We have filmed around 20 weddings with the 1DX and we have grown very fond of everything this camera has to offer. We recently picked up a Canon C200 in addition to our 1DX mark ii. We have filmed two weddings at the time of writing this article and I am very impressed with the camera thus far. I am going to dive into the pros and cons of each camera. Our 1DX stays on the Ronin M (Edit: Now using Ronin S) for a majority of the day flipping back and forth between 4k 60fps and 1080p 120fps primarily focusing on "cinematics" during the portrait session. The Canon C200 is usually our main camera angle for letter readings, ceremony and speeches. The C200 is either on a tripod during events or handheld for prep, portrait sessions and everything else.
Canon 1DX Pros:
A big pro is the 4K 60fps codec with only a slight crop. For a while the 1DX mark ii was the largest sensor camera that shot 4K 60fps in a sub $10K camera. The 1DX mark ii does not lose autofocus capabilities when shooting in1080p 120 fps like the C200. I am still a bit confused on why canon didn't offer DPAF in it's high frame rate recording mode on the C200. We like using auto focus on the gimbal, it allows us to shoot with a shallow depth of field during a camera move or when times manual focus would be too difficult. The 1DX is a great size camera and it feels good in the hands, but I have started to notice that the camera is a bit too light for an organic handheld look when compared to the C200. I think this could easily be fixed if you rig it up with a cage, monitor and maybe some rails. If you favor the handheld look I would recommend the C200. The ergonomics right out of the box allows for a more natural handheld shots vs the 1DX. I believe the 1DX mark ii performs better in low light vs the C200. The 1DX mark ii has less noise especially in the shadows at higher a ISO. The C200 is decent in low light when shooting 8 bit, but I think the 1DX has a slight edge because of the larger sensor.
Canon 1DX Cons:
One of the biggest cons would be the codec. It shoots in an 8bit Motion jpeg codec that has a poor compression rate. The file sizes are very large and requires you to shoot on Cfast 2.0 cards if you plan to shoot 4K. On an average wedding, we will bring home around 500 gb of data on the 1DX alone. Another con would be that it does not offer a log profile. We have grown very fond of Clog on the C200. It would be incredible if you could also shoot in Clog on the 1DX. It's a bit frustrating because Canon allows you to upgrade your 5D mark IV with Clog, but they do not allow you to upgrade on the 1DX. Not having focus peaking or focus assist internally is an issue, we use manual focus quite often, but we tend to only use auto focus on the 1DX mark ii. Not having an articulating screen "flip out screen" is a con. In the past we have shot on the Panasonic GH4, Canon 60D, 70D, 80D, (Edit now an EOS R) all of which have a flip out LCD. The C200 also has an articulating screen. Being able to get low, shoot high and shoot closer to your body while still being able adjust composition is very nice. Not having XLR ports is a con. This is not something I expect out a DSLR, but having the ability to use higher quality microphones would be a plus. The 1DX does not allow you to control the camera via wifi like on other Canon cameras. I can monitor our Canon 80D (Edit EOS R) and touch focus from my phone and it works seamlessly. You also have this option with the C200 using the Browser Remote. We have yet tested out out this feature.
Canon C200 Pros:
The C200 has a ton of pros, a large pro would be its ability to shoot raw. Shooting raw is not necessary for wedding videography, but it is a nice option to have. At the time of writing this article Adobe Premiere Pro now supports Cinema Raw Light. We have been a little reluctant to shoot raw at weddings because of the post workflow. Since we can now edit .crm files directly in Premeire Pro, it should speed up the workflow significantly and allow us to shoot more of it. Clog is also a very welcomed feature. There is a noticeable difference in terms of dynamic range (even in 8bit) when filmed in Clog vs the 1DX mark ii. I really like that this camera has built in XLR ports. The bump in audio quilty is greatly appreciated. The built in ND filters are wonderful feature. With wedding videography we find our selves shooting in harsh sunlight often. Being able to have ND filters at the push of a button is a huge pro. The .mp4 codec is wonderful on this camera. The files look incredibly clean and they are very manageable. They are easy files to work with and we are not bringing home over 500 gb of data after a wedding like we are with the 1DX. The EVF on this camera is great. Having the ability to check all of your settings in the broad daylight is awesome. The EVF is incredibly sharp and we are overall very impressed with the EVF on this camera. The articulating touch screen Canon LM-V1 is really nice. This is the first cinema camera that offers the ability to touch to pull focus with DPAF. I know a lot of filmmakers are reluctant to use auto focus, but DPAF has become a huge part of our workflow and we use it often! It is one of the reasons we have stuck with Canon through the years. In my opinion it is a powerful tool for run and gun style filmmaking and wedding videography. The new focus assist is incredible and makes manually focusing a breeze, We prefer it to focus peaking, and the 1DX has neither focus assist or focus peaking built in. The ability to customize every button on this camera is a big pro. Most cameras offer some form of customization, but this camera just has so many buttons and you can really dive into the custom settings and make this camera fit for your style of shooting.
Canon C200 Cons:
The biggest con from this camera is it lacks a decent codec in-between 8bit .mp4 & Cinema Raw Light. We would have really liked to see a 10bit XF-AVC codec that you can find on cameras like C300 mark ii. We personally do not need 10bit when shooting weddings, but it would be really nice. Some would prefer that codec over having Cinema Raw Light. Every C200 owner is crossing their fingers that canon gives us 10 bit color in a future firmware upgrade, but all we can do now is hope. (Edit: the firmware update never came) Because of the EVF, it is not the best camera to mount onto gimbals. The C200B is a much better option for gimbal work, but I have not seen many videos where the C200 has been balanced properly on anything but a Movi Pro (Edit: C200 & C200 B will balance just fine on a Ronin S) Something I noticed that I did not like immediately when I first started testing out the camera is not having the ability to change the aperture, ISO & shutter speed with your right hand on the grip (GR-V1) like you can with most DSLR's. There is only one dial on the grip that we set to ISO as we change our ISO more often that aperture or shutter speed. You have to swing your left hand around to the bottom of the camera and spin a dial to adjust the aperture (if you are using EF glass) Was not a fan at first, but it is really not a huge issue. Coming from DSLRs, being able to control all your settings from your right hand was a luxury. The size can be a pro or con for some people. We personally like the ergonomics. Although, the C200 is bigger, heavier and a bit clunkier when compared to a small mirrorless or DSLR cameras and something you should keep in mind. The added weight allows for more decent looking handheld shots. It should be noted that the face tracking auto focus on the 1DX is far better than the C200. On the 1DX mark ii you can tap on just about anything and it will lock on and track that subject. The C200 you have to tap a button on the camera before tapping the screen. If you want the focus to track a different subject you have to hit the button again before tapping the new subject. This took some getting use to. The C200 face detection auto focus tends to perform poorly in low light situations. I think it is safe to say that the 1DX auto focusing system is overall better. It should also be noted that shooting in raw there tends to be more noise in the shadows. This isn't just a canon thing, but more so a common issue when working with raw files from most cinema camera. To combat this we found over exposing slightly will help retain shadow detail. As wedding videographers we often find ourselves in less than ideal lighting situations, so If there are a lot of shadows in our scene we usually shoot in 8bit because it is less noisy.
Edit February 2020: In 2018 we would have recommended the 1DX mark ii. After working with the C200 over the last two wedding seasons, we think it is an incredible option for wedding filmmakers. The 1DX mark ii is still a really great contender as well, it all comes down to personal preference. Since this article has come out, Canon released the Canon EOS R and just announced the EOS R5 as well as the 1DX mark iii, so there a few more options to consider. We bought an EOS R at the very beginning of our 2019 wedding season and we found that it matches our Canon C200 really well. Because of this we find ourselves shooting with our 1DX less and less. We are really excited to see what the Canon R5 will bring once the full specs are released.
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